Muscat - The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are stepping up efforts to address food security challenges collaboratively and individually to find sustainable solutions for their food security challenges, a new report says.
A new COVID-19 Response Report (CRR), produced by Oxford Business Group (OBG) in partnership with the Arab Organisation for Agricultural Development (AOAD), titled 'Agri-tech and Food Security in the GCC', the report shines a spotlight on the wide-ranging strategies for agricultural innovation and food production taking shape across the region in an easy-to-navigate and accessible format that includes key data and infographics.
The report provides details of the significant food security challenges that the region has long faced, such as water scarcity and a lack of arable soil – which have been exacerbated by climate change.
The report also considers the added impact of disruptions to global supply chains caused by the pandemic and the more recent Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has heightened the need for the region to continue investing in domestic production capacity and agri-tech solutions.
Against this backdrop, the report charts the strides made across the GCC before and during the pandemic to reduce imports by investing in supportive technology solutions, such as water management, with a specific focus on desalination. It notes that such steps have helped to create an attractive investment environment for regional and international businesses eyeing opportunities in the sector.
With global food production contributing significantly to harmful emissions, the CRR considers the challenges industry players face as they strive to ensure that new agri-tech solutions can mitigate the effects of climate change and reduce future risks.
“Policymakers and business leaders in the GCC have long been collaborating effectively to address food security challenges,” Jana Treeck, Managing Director, Middle East, said. “With the global pandemic and climate change exacerbating challenges in international supply chains and local production, there is renewed appetite for investments in innovative food production solutions. As a result, we expect to see continued growth in agri-tech start-up funding and M&A activity in food production in the years ahead.”
The CRR includes several case studies charting the growth stories and development plans of key regional stakeholders in the agriculture sector and food production industry, namely: Tanmiah; RDI; Fresh on Table; and Alyasra Foods. It also looks in detail at the work being undertaken at the AOAD to support the development and enhancement of the 22 member states’ agriculture sectors and promote coordination in matters relating to agriculture and food security.
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